What is Dandruff and How to Treat It Naturally?
Simply put, dandruff, which is also known as hair dermatitis in medical terms, refers to those dry, white tiny bits of skin that fall off from your scalp. They are dead skin cells and can usually be found on your shoulders or collar if you’re shedding excessively.
While it’s normal to shed around 500,000 cells/cm2, a case of dandruff is usually where the individual sheds significantly more than that. And although dandruff is absolutely harmless, it can lead to embarrassment, especially if it’s beyond that “acceptable” limit.
In fact, those “hair-conscious” people may avoid your company like the plague if you’re struggling to deal with your dandruff. It’s a little surprising though as dandruff is not contagious, although in some cases it may be a cause of fungi or yeasts on your scalp, which may spread from one person to another.
Causes of Dandruff
Dandruff can be a result of a variety of factors. It’s important to understand these factors in order to avoid seborrheic dermatitis dandruff and also to treat it. Let us take a look at some of the most common ones below.
Scalp dermatitis, more commonly known as seborrheic dermatitis of scalp, is a condition of the scalp which results in red patches, rashes and stubborn dandruff on your scalp. It usually resembles an allergic reaction, and in some cases, can even affect other areas of your body, particularly the oily ones such as your face, the area on the back of your ears and sides of your nose, upper chest and more.
Seborrheic dermatitis hair loss is also common in people suffering from the condition, though it’s usually not something very serious and can be treated relatively easily. However, dandruff, unfortunately, cannot be.
This is because this condition usually leads to the production of a fungus known as Malassezia on your scalp. Now though it simply feeds on the oils on the scalp, it can sometimes grow beyond a certain limit which will lead to irritation of your scalp and production of extra skin cells.
These skin cells will die and fall off surprisingly soon, which is exactly what we term as dandruff.
Dandruff is one of the most common problems of a dry skin. It leads to an itchy scalp which throws out small flakes of dandruff constantly.
Unlike dandruff caused due to some other conditions, though, the dandruff due to dry skin is not oily.
There are quite a few skin conditions that may lead to dandruff, such as eczema, psoriasis and some other similar conditions.
Those who are suffering from certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are believed to be more prone to seborrheic dermatitis dandruff and dermatitis on scalp.
Skin Care Products
There’s a reason experts recommend you to be very careful with all those skin care products out there. If they are not something your skin likes, it may lead to scalp irritation, which, in turn, causes seborrheic dermatitis dandruff.
In fact, many experts are of the opinion that even shampooing too often may lead to similar results, as it too may end up irritating your scalp.
Your diet probably has something to do with pretty much all issues you have with your health, and your scalp issues are no exception. If you’re not getting enough vitamins and other nutrients through your diet, you may end up being more likely to get dandruff.
Many experts also believe that dandruff may be closely linked to stress in some cases.
How to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis Dandruff Naturally?
Well, now that you’re aware of the causes of dandruff, let us get to how to go about treating it. However, don’t expect the typical shampooing advice and reviews on products like head & shoulders and DHS in this article, as we are going to keep it all natural.
This is because shampooing may be far from an effective or a “complete” solution to the problem. In fact, sometimes, shampooing itself may be a reason for your dandruff, as noted above. And while it may make the dandruff go away for a while, it perhaps won’t be able to do it for long (especially if it’s not supplemented with a specific treatment for dandruff).
Also, what with all the chemicals these shampoos contain, which can probably wreak havoc on the health of your scalp and hair in the long term if you tend to shampoo too often.
With that being said, here’s a look at what seem to be some highly effective natural ways of fighting dandruff.
Aspirin is believed to bring about the same effects as a medicated seborrheic dermatitis dandruff shampoo, but without any of the undesirable chemicals. You can simply crush two aspirins and add the powder to the normal amount of shampoo you use.
You can leave it for a couple of minutes before washing your hair. It’s a good idea to do this every time you’re shampooing your hair.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can work wonders for seborrheic dermatitis dandruff. There are many natural shampoos out there that contain tea tree oil, and they may help get rid of your dandruff to a great extent.
Furthermore, however, tea tree oil also works great for your overall scalp health, preventing production of extra skin cells, as well as itchiness and irritation of your scalp.
Is there anything the all-in-one-solution baking soda doesn’t help with? It can turn out to be pretty effective at fighting the itchiness and flaking of your scalp, too. It restricts the growth of the overactive fungi, which is responsible for the dandruff in most cases.
You don’t need any shampoo for this remedy. You simply need to wet your hair and rub a handful of baking soda into your scalp for a few minutes. After that, you only need to use water to wash your hair.
Initially when you start using this remedy, your hair may go a little dry. However, that’s nothing to worry about as after a while your scalp will start producing natural oils, which will make your hair look great and add a natural luster to it.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some doctors swear by apple cider vinegar for fighting dandruff. Its acidic properties bring about a change in the pH of your scalp, which basically creates an unfavorable environment for yeast’s growth.
This is a pretty simple home remedy as well. Start by mixing a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water, and spray the mixture on your hair. You need to wrap your hair with a towel for about 15 to 60 minutes after doing this, in order to make it work most effectively.
You can then wash your hair. Doing this remedy twice a week may help you get great results if you’re being troubled by dandruff.
Coconut oil is very versatile, and offers a wide range of benefits for both hair and skin. It’s a great moisturizer, has a rich texture, and comes with antifungal properties. This helps it be a great natural conditioner and dandruff treatment.
It’s especially a great option for those with sensitive skin, as it’s usually very soft and easy on your skin, which, in this case, is going to be your scalp’s skin.
It also smells great, so unlike while using some other home remedies, you won’t feel embarrassed if someone ends up getting a smell of your hair.
You can put 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil into your scalp about an hour or two before you shampoo your hair. Going with a natural shampoo that contains coconut oil as well is going to work better.
All you need to do to get rid of your stubborn seborrheic dermatitis dandruff is search your kitchen. Lemon is perhaps one of the rare few ways that can help make the dandruff go away completely.
Simply massage your hair with two tablespoons of lemon juice, and then wash your hair with only water. You then also need to mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in one cup water, and rinse your hair again with the mixture.
You need to follow this remedy daily, until you’re no longer struggling to keep the dandruff at bay.
If dry skin is the reason for your dandruff, then the olive oil treatment may turn out to be your best bet. It’s a natural moisturizer and particularly good at moisturizing the dry areas of your scalp which may be contributing the most to the flaking.
Olive oil also comes with many other benefits for your hair and your scalp. It hydrates your scalp, and gets easily absorbed by the “thick” areas of your scalp, which may be the cause of persistent dandruff issues.
You can massage your hair with 10 drops of olive oil, and leave it overnight. You would need to use a shower cap to wrap your hair.
Finally, you can wash your hair in the morning. However, for this remedy to work more effectively and quickly, you would want to use a natural shampoo containing olive oil.